A teacher's aide supports a child's classroom teacher to include a child in everyday classroom learning and activities.
The teacher remains responsible for a child’s learning and behaviour.
What a teacher's aide does
In general, a child’s teacher’s aide will:
- carry out learning activities with a child
- help a child’s teacher by using strategies to manage a child’s behaviour
- work with other students in the class and encourage students to play and work together and learn from each other – this can boost a child’s learning and social skills
- take over some of the class teacher’s duties so they have time to work more directly with a child.
If a child has special health or physical needs, a teacher’s aide can help with medicines, feeding, toileting, moving about the school, using specialised equipment, and keeping a record of these things if this is important.
The way a teacher’s aide works with a child
A child’s class teacher will work with their teacher’s aide to:
- use specific strategies that will help a child to learn and manage their own behaviour
- help build a child’s independence by knowing when to stand back and let them try things on their own (a child will quickly become dependent on them if they do too much for them or stay right beside them for long periods)
- praise a child in a way that encourages or rewards them when they:
- stick with something they’re working on for a bit longer
- stick with something they’re working on even if it’s difficult or they’re uncertain
- learn something new
- remember something they’ve learned the day before or week before
- use natural supports, such as including a child in a group of three or four others who are working together on a task where a child can make a contribution
- cut back the number of prompts they give a child over time to encourage the idea of working with less support
- help with any personal care needs or with using special equipment, such as standing frames or hoists.
It’s good for a child if a different teacher’s aide supports them in the playground, if it’s necessary, so there’s less risk of becoming too dependent on one person.